Quite where any adventure really begins is a matter for debate. When you are writing a story, it begins with that ‘once upon a time’ moment and the first words on the page. In ‘real life’, you can trace it back, and yet further back, looking at the chain of events that bring you to a given moment… but you can never go back and change a thing. Thankfully, with a book, you can do just that.
A few years ago, Stuart France and I began an adventure. It had taken a lifetime to bring us to that moment where everything began to get weird enough to fall into place. Like the scattered pieces of a jigsaw, the experiences and things we had learned throughout our lives only started to reveal their hidden story when we put them together and became, ourselves, pieces of the picture. Even so, without the intervention of the birds, we might never have understood…
Caught up in the excitement of the moment, we started to write, recording the facts of our adventures in a semi-fictional form that also allowed us to share the insights we were being granted and, over the years, we have released a fair few books.
The enthusiasm and energy of beginnings is rather special, but like all novices, we were ill-equipped. We knew very well that the kind of books we wanted to write would be unlikely to interest a mainstream publisher, so we decided on the self-publishing route. That was a steeper learning curve than we expected, but we got the books out there to support the birth of the Silent Eye. Which just goes to show that if you dream to some purpose, you can make dreams come true.
You begin with no more than an idea… a dream. You may lack some of the skills that you need, but you learn as you go. As with any learning, the more you practice and the more experience you gain, the more you can bring to your work. When you care about that work, it may mean retracing your steps to bring the newly-acquired skills to the table. And that is what we decided to do.
Editing, proofing, layout, illustration and cover design… some of the earlier books will be getting a major overhaul. It will not be a pleasant task, but, like spring cleaning… it needs to be done and we will feel better for it.
When we start planning a book, the first thing we do is make a cover…even if it is not the final version, having a cover is a good incentive. This time, we made something different. When our old, horribly basic website came up for renewal, we moved over to WordPress… and our shiny new site is just the incentive needed to roll up our sleeves, fill up on coffee and get on with the job.
We are still under construction… but the site is up and running, and it would be nice to have a few visitors… so if you fancy popping over and seeing what we are getting up to… you can find us at franceandvincent.com.